Bonum Certa Men Certa

Using Money to Escape Interoperability Scrutiny/Litigation (Updated)

The following story from May 2004 is somewhat similar to a more recent case where payments were made to Novell, which assists Microsoft's legal case in Europe, among other places. Microsoft is accused of deliberately breaking interoperability and it pays its way out of legal action, or even prosecution. Remember Microsoft's interoperability action against Novell (technical sabotage). Also consider the fact that Microsoft's recent pact with Novell can be a route to passive forgiveness. Shades of robber barons.

The following story might strike a nerve.

Microsoft agreed to pay Norway's Opera Software $12.75 million to head off a threatened lawsuit over code that made some Web pages on MSN look bad in certain versions of Opera's Web browser, CNET News.com has learned.

Opera disclosed the payment last week in a terse press release that omitted other details, including the name of the settling party and the nature of the dispute.

But a source indicated that the payment came from Microsoft in order to close the books on a clash over obscure interoperability problems. On at least three separate occasions, Opera has accused Microsoft of deliberately breaking interoperability between its MSN Web portal and various versions of the Opera browser--charges that the software giant has repeatedly denied.


Like OOXML, we previously highlighted evidence that Microsoft deliberately made Internet Explorer incompatible with standards. it continues to play such games with SOA, Samba, and other vital system components. It has deep roots in the past.

By breaking, sabotaging, or at least stifling interoperability, Microsoft is able to attract victims like Novell, which are tactless enough to sign undesirable deals and thereby help Microsoft,

Update: here is a more recent article that is also a good reference to have.

It is not possible to claim that browsers, networking technology or even media players exist in a healthy, viable, open and fair marketplace today. Microsoft just paid money to have those players go away: Novell, AOL (Netscape) and RealNetworks?. As well as SUN, IBM, Burst, BEOS and others.

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